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Veterans and Active Duty Military

 Thank you once again to the Veterans and active or past service members who came to Washington to speak to our classes. We truly appreciate the time you spent with us, and the opportunity to learn from all of you. Thank you so very much….and thank you for your service! We welcomed members of our Armed Services, past & present, to speak to small groups of students about the significance and importance of Veteran's Day. We had a speaker for each of our classes during first period that day. We began with a small welcoming reception at 7:40 in our conference room and then a student escorted the speaker to the classroom.  Washington thanks you for your service! 

Veterans representing all military branches and serving every decade since World War II visited Washington Gifted Middle School this week to speak to students. Each veteran was paired with a class of students. The veterans told students of their military service experiences, from the exciting and dangerous to the mundane.

Former White School principal Jim Ulrich, an Army veteran representing the American Legion Post 2, brought his friend Mike Faley, a 98-year-old Army veteran who was in college when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Les Perera, a US Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, spoke to students about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and advances made to treat veterans returning from service.

Peoria Public Schools Foundation staff member Brenda Wilson described her experiences in the U.S. Army Reserves. “I was a computer communications project manager in the Air National Guard.  I served at the 182nd Airlift Wing near the Peoria Airport from 1993-1999, then inactively through 2002,” Wilson told the students. Wilson attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio TX before going to Communications Tech School at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi MS. “Even though I joined during Desert Storm & served Active duty during that time, I never had to go into a war situation, so I’m one of the lucky ones.”

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